OAKVILLE-WATERTOWN — The original hope for American Legion baseball was that a decision would be made during the first week of June about playing a 2020 season. It was a valiant attempt to buy time, but reality won out in the end, as the organization announced last week that there would be no baseball played under the Legion banner this season.
“It is with great disappointment that we announce that the 2020 Connecticut State American Legion baseball season has been suspended,” said State Baseball Committee Chairman David Greenleaf in a statement. “The National American Legion has shut down all sponsorship and all involvement in baseball for the 2020 season. The Department of Connecticut has also shut down all sponsorship; as a result there is no insurance for our teams at this time and without insurance we cannot play or conduct any baseball activities.”
Among the teams affected is the local entry representing Oakville, which is sponsored by Legion Post 195.
A program noted for winning multiple Zone championship under former coach and new general manager Scott Ouelette was preparing for its first season under new coach Mike Mastrocola when the suspension announcement was made.
“The baseball committee appreciates all of the support we have received over the past several weeks as we have worked to find a way to play baseball this summer,” Mr. Greenleaf went on. “Unfortunately the developments of the past few days have made all of that work moot and taken the decision making out of our hands.
“This is a sad day in deed for American Legion Baseball in Connecticut,” Greeleaf said. “Let’s hope life returns to normal in time for the 2021 season, when we look forward to being back under the American Legion umbrella.
Also deciding to put things down and try again in 2021 was the Tri-State League, which contains teams from most area towns, among them Bethlehem, Thomaston, Torrington and, until recently, Watertown.
“The Tri-State baseball League is formally announcing the cancellation of the 2020 season,” said League Commissioner Ed Gadomski on May 16.
“In respect to our essential health care workers still working the front lines during this national pandemic – it simply is the right thing to do.
“Concerns of health for everyone involved is simply not worth the risk,” added Mr. Gadomski.
“We are looking forward to being back in 2021.”